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On War Criminal as UN Adviser Story, Sri Lanka Says General Is Mad, Deal?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 9 -- "The General is very angry with you," Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona told Inner City Press on Thursday night at Iran's national day reception. "You refer to him as an alleged war criminal."

Kohona was referring to Inner City Press' series questioning Silva becoming a member of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, despite Silva's division being listed in Ban's Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka as shelling hospitals and killing people who sought to surrender.

Inner City Press told Kohona that a number of member states say that he will replaced Silva on Ban's Advisory Group, in exchange for the states not pushing accountability for Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Kohona replied, "This is an Asia Group nomination, it's the group that has to go back, and from what I understand the Group is not going to go back... Fifty four countries, I don't know if they're going to do that, I doubt it. Have you eaten the food?"

The conversation took place during Iran's national day reception at the UN Millennium Hotel; the spread included grape leaves and filet mignon but no liquor. After this interchange, Kohona went to greet Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, who was involved along with Kohona in the so-called White Flag killings of surrenderees.

Inner City Press also spoke with Shavendra Silva, who was as Kohona said, angry. Silva began, "You are always writing against me."

Ban shakes with Silva, Kohona back to camera, deal not shown

 Silva said that that allegations in Ban's Panel of Experts report are against the division, not him personally. But he led the division. Inner City Press committed to going back to parse out each paragraph, and will. But whether in each instance named as an individual, Silva must be held responsible for what the division he commanded did. We will have more on this - watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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